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Friday, October 31, 2008

Urgent Need for Income Tax Counselors!!

We cannot provide this service without volunteers!

RSVP is urgently looking for volunteer tax preparers to assist with the 2008 tax returns of Schuyler County’s senior population. Extensive training and guidance is provided. Returns are completed and sent electronically. Laptops and printers are supplied.

Please share this volunteer opportunity with your friends age 55 and older.

Over 150 Schuyler seniors take advantage of our free tax assistance program.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Plastic Bags Needed

The Penn Yan Food For the Needy program is in need of donated, used-but-clean plastic grocery bags for the Backpack Program. They are using 450 plastic bags each week – and so any contribution would be appreciated.

If you bring/send the plastic bags to the Yates County Office for the Aging, they’ll make sure they make their way over to the Food Pantry and Backpack program. If you want to be super helpful, please place them flat in a bag with all handles going in the same direction.

Also, if you know of any unwanted/unused supplies of plastic bags (so perhaps old promotional items), please send those along too!

Many thanks!

Katie Smeenk
Director, Pro Action Yates Aging and Youth Services
ProAction of Steuben and Yates, Inc.
417 Liberty Street
Penn Yan, NY 14527

Phone: (315) 536-5515


What is the Backpack program?

The Backpack Program is a weekend food program developed and operated Food for the Needy in Penn Yan (a food pantry). They have just added Dundee Central School students and have about 450 students in the Penn Yan and Dundee elementary and middle schools receiving food each week. The food is purchased and packed by volunteers. Items included in the weekly food pack are nutritious foods like oatmeal, cereal bars, peanut butter, tuna fish, juice boxes etc. and is designed to feed a young student for several meals during the weekend. The maximum weight of the bag of feed is 3 lbs or less so that elementary school children can carry it easily. Families complete an application to enroll their child in the program, but applications are screened and kept by the schools. Only the names and grade level of the children are given to the Backpack Program.
Here is an excerpt from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s Annual Report about their back pack program:

The BackPack Program™ fills the gap over weekends and school breaks when children cannot access free and reduced price school meals. Many teachers canattest to children who resist going home on Friday, or who complain of illnesses each Monday morning. This program provides a bag of nutritious food items each Friday to children who exhibit signs of chronic hunger.

Thanks again for your great response! It is so appreciated!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shoe Strings Walking Program

Did you know there is a fun and FREE indoor walking program available to you right in Watkins Glen? The "Shoe Strings" program is organized by RSVP. It begins on November 3 and takes place in the Watkins Glen High School from 3:00-4:30 every day that school is in session. Just enter at the Field House and sign in with Janet, an RSVP volunteer that helps organize the program. For more information, view our flier.
When walking for exercise remember to keep a normal stride. Extending our stride length jolts our joints and actually slows us down. You may also put stress on your joints and ligaments by trying to go very quickly or by lengthening your stride too much. Take it slow, enjoy the day. Stop and smell the roses.

Walt S.
RSVP Volunteer

Thanks Walt, for this great tip. I'm sure many will benefit from it! Is there a helpful tip or story you'd like to share with other RSVP members? Write us!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Volunteering Is For The Birds!

In this case I’m referring to Citizen Scientists who are assisting in bird surveys being conducted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. If you have a bird feeder in your back yard you can join others across the continent that are gathering data to better understand and conserve birds. This is an RSVP assignment and all time spent working on this project should be counted. Unlike other RSVP assignments there is a $15 fee to participate in "Project FeederWatch". The first 5 volunteers to contact me about their plans to participate and actually record their November volunteer hours spent on the project will receive full reimbursement of the fee in December. So don’t delay…the season begins soon, running from November 8 to April 3.

Contact me or go directly to to learn more about winter projects, including the annual 4 day bird count being conducted Feb 13-16, 2009.

Call me about a new option for reporting your volunteer hours ‘on-line’ with ‘Web Assistant’.

Happy Volunteering!

Beth Lisk

About Our Blog

Welcome to the RSVP blog. This venue will serve as an informal way for volunteers, non-profit organizations and the RSVP staff to communicate stories, new ideas and trends in volunteering and pretty much anything we want to share relating to volunteerism.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, sharing the latest news about volunteering, announcing new opportunities and getting to know you better. It’s easy. Just make a ‘comment’ and you will be sharing your ideas and stories with other volunteers in Schuyler & Yates Counties.

Happy Volunteering!

Beth Lisk

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Welcome to our blog. We will be using this blog to share information with our volunteers. Please check back soon for new posts.